© 2017 - 2018 - 2019 by Alexandra Huetter

Our trip to Japan/Australia and what I learnt from grieving

April 26, 2019

The last couple of months were pretty crazy. We left Portugal in the beginning of February to fly to Tokyo, where we spent a few days before embarking on an epic 10-day skiing/snowboarding holiday with Lac’s family.

 

 We're back in Portugal

 

 

After two weeks in Japan we all packed up and flew to Australia, where we divided our time between Gerringong, where we had our 3rd wedding party (!!) at the farm of Lac’s dad, and Coolum in Queensland, where Lac's mum lives. About three weeks ago we returned to Portugal and are now in the process of settling into our house in Carrapateira. Phewwww

 

It’s been a whirlwind. Good but also quite energy-consuming. Now, that we’ve had a few weeks in our house, we were able to get back into a regular exercise and work routine. Sloooowly is the word here. But we’re getting there.

 

I’ve already noticed that I’m sleeping better and a little bit of moving around in the morning before work has helped me boost my energy levels. Intermittent fasting is also on the table (hello summer body and hopefully clearer skin)!

 

On a different note, I’ve also finally had time to check in with myself emotionally. I haven’t put my grieving process on hold, but I just had too many things on my plate.

 

 Beautiful landscapes all around - how lucky are we?

 

 

Today, I did. I opened my journal for the first time in three months and read my last entry from 25 January this year. I kept a journal after my dad passed away last November and wrote in it every night, but this was the first time I actually read one of my entries.

 

I thought I’d share it here.

 

“This week has been quite big in my grieving journey. When chatting to Uli (one of my best friends), I realised one thing. Bad things are going to happen to me/us at one point in our lives – same as good things. It’s out of our control. It doesn’t matter if we are tense about it, scared, relaxed, indifferent, it just doesn’t matter.

 

At one point in our lives, it’s very likely that we’ll have to deal with tragedy, loss, death, grief. And I realised that it’s very important to really deal with it. Deal with grief. Let it wash through me, all the sadness, anger, hopelessness, numbness, physical and emotional pain.

 

All these emotions have their own time to show up. Numbing yourself or avoiding them is not an option if you want to end up with a healthy relationship with the person that has passed.

 

Slowly I begin to see how something so profound, something that shatters you, breaks you, almost kills you can change you if you let it. You grow from it. And honestly, I never thought I would say this, but it almost seems like it has transformed into something positive.

 

It strips away all the unnecessary and leaves us with so much clarity. Life is precious, we should appreciate it. Everything. During my daily meditation I heard one important thing: 'No matter what you do, keep death close'.

 

Our own mortality only comes to the surface when we’re shaken by something big, but it's nothing negative. It’s just a reminder to enjoy every day we have and to make the most of it. So, in a way, I have to thank dad for putting me on this journey, for ‘sacrificing’ himself for all of us to see so clearly what we should do with our lives.

 

Don’t waste it. Be kind. Enjoy. Learn and experience, grow and feel everything deeply…”

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